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Improving Evidence based Policy Engagement in South Asia

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  1. Improving Evidence based Policy Engagement in South Asia Naved Chowdhury Rijit Sengupta n.chowdhury@odi.org.ukrsg@cuts.org 17-21 September, 2007 Shimla, India

  2. OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE • Development Think Tank • 60 researchers • Research / Advice / Public Debate • Rural / Humanitarian / Poverty & Aid / Economics / Policy Processes • DFID, Parliament, WB, EC • Civil Society For more information see: www.odi.org.uk

  3. RAPID Group • Promoting the use of research-based evidence in development policy • Research / Advice / Public Affairs & Capacity-building • Programmes: • Research for Policy • Progressive Policymakers • Parliamentarians • Southern Think Tanks for further information see: www.odi.org.uk/rapid

  4. Case Studies • Detailed: • Sustainable Livelihoods • Poverty Reductions Strategy Processes • Ethical Principles in Humanitarian Aid • Animal Health Care in Kenya • Dairy Policy in Kenya • Plant Genetic Resources • Summary • GDN x 50 • CSPP x 20 • Good news case studies x 5 • Mental health in the UK

  5. ODI and Global Civil Society Civil Society Partnerships Programme Outcomes: • CSOs better understand evidence-policy process • Capacity development to support CSOs’ policy influencing efforts • Improved knowledge base for CSOs on policy influencing • Global collaboration and experience sharing about research/policy/practice linkages Aim: Strengthened role of southern CSOs in development policy processes http://www.odi.org.uk/cspp/

  6. CSPP Objectives Goal Development policy is more pro-poor Purpose • Southern CSOs make more use of research-based evidence to influence the establishment of pro-poor policy • ODI engages more effectively with southern CSOs and other stakeholders to make more use of ODI’s research-based evidence to influence the establishment of pro-poor policy.

  7. Network: Interactive community website Information and knowledge exchange within and across regions General support Capacity-building: staff exchanges visiting fellows to ODI and Southern institutes, Southern participants in global policy events Training and ToT – for CSOs and policy-makers Mentoring support to action research projects Dissemination of lessons: Ongoing learning “How to do it” guidelines New research on the research-policy-practice interface Collaborative projects: Small-scale ARPs Continued support to existing projects One new global collaborative project each year Partnership Activities

  8. Global Consultation • Workshops were held in Africa (Southern, Eastern and West), Asia (South and South East) and Latin America (Southern Cone and Andes) and organized in partnership with local CSOs • Case studies: • Budget Monitoring (Zambia), • Community Participation in Waste Management (Ghana), • Rice pricing (Bangladesh), • Public participation (Indonesia) etc. • Sub-national elections and journalist capacity building (Peru)

  9. Civil Society Partnerships Programme Outcomes: • CSOs better understanding evidence-policy process • Capacity to support CSOs established • Improved information for CSOs • Global collaboration Aim: Strengthened role of southern CSOs in development policy processes http://www.odi.org.uk/cspp/

  10. Activities • Principles of partnerships etc • Mapping of CSO’s and support organisations • Regional Workshops • Research, synthesis and toolkits • Small-scale collaborations (internal) • Small-scale collaborations (external) • Identification of long-term partners • Support (and capacity-building) • Collaboration on global projects

  11. Linking Evidence to Policy: Lessons Learnt • Understanding Policy process means understanding the politics • Demand led vs Supply driven • Credibility of CSOs is questioned • Capacity to use and package research for policy influence is limited • Donor influence is huge • Gradual erosion of research capacity in the South

  12. Establishing capacity • Engagement with policymakers varies • Varied level of capacity in the south • Retention and recruitment of qualified staff • Role of research in development organization • Lack of training opportunities • More emphasis on policy advocacy • Limited fund for research • Strong Demand for support ( regional bias) • Capacity of government institutions also in question

  13. Partnership for Capacity Development • Equitable • Long-term commitment • Intellectual honesty • Mutual Trust • Ethical Principle of Partnership • Contextual ( strong regional variation) • Capacity is demanded not given!!

  14. Key issues for Partnership • ODI needs to change ( Org and Staff) • Invest time and resource • Partnership to accommodate diversity of capacity • Different modes of Partnerships ( research, networking, advocacy)

  15. Capacity Development in CSPP • Building a knowledge base of orgs • Responding directly to CD demand of partners • CSPP network • Training ( Research methodology, policy analysis, etc). • Facilitating exchange of information and knowledge ( Best Practice) • Support institutional development • Collaborative action research projects

  16. Key factors for CSO influence on Policy (Malawi) Constraints • Lack of capacity • Lack of local ownership • Translating data into evidence • Limited data • Donor influence • Crises • Political factors • Strengths • Evidence of the value of CSO involvement • Governments becoming more interested in CSOs • CSOs are gaining confidence • Strength of networks • Opportunities for media engagement • Political factors

  17. What do CSOs need to do? • Define clear roles and responsibilities, especially in networks • Financial and human resources to facilitate policy influencing – both constructive engagement and confrontational approaches • Effective communication: develop different materials for different target audiences • Engage the media • Engage with donors so that they can develop a more holistic understanding of development challenges • Consult with policymakers (elected officials and civil servants) from the outset

  18. Group work in regional teams • What do you understand by the term “policy influencing” or “policy engagement”? • What are the most important policy processes for CSOs to influence with regard to any sector? • Please give examples at regional and national levels • How are you trying to influence any policy in your country? • What are the key opportunities for CSOs and challenges in your country to influence policies? • Plenary: Opportunities and Challenges for influencing development policies

  19. Merilee Grindle’s Approach • Identify the policy reform – the decision to be made • Political Interests Map – the actors and “politics” • Institutional Contexts Map – the organisations and processes involved • Circle of influence graphic – supporters and opponents and their power • Policy process Matrix – what needs to be done when • Communications Strategy

  20. Introduction • Your name • Your work • What is your expectation from this workshop? • 3 minutes!!

  21. Who? How? Audience What? Message Promotion The overall framework • Identify the problem • Understand the context • Identify the audience(s) • Develop a SMART Strategy • Identify the message(s) • Resources – staff, time, partners & $$ • Promotion – tools & activities • Monitor, learn, adapt

  22. Terms and Parameters • What is policy? • What explains policy change? • What is the relationship between researchers and policy makers? • Tools to understand the political context of policy change • Tools to influence the policy process

  23. Policy – some meanings • Label for field of activity/space • Expression of general intent • Specific proposals • Decisions of government • Formal authority/legislation • Program • Output or outcome • Model or theory Hogwood & Gunn, 1984

  24. Definitions • Research: “any systematic effort to increase the stock of knowledge” • Policy:a “purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors” • Evidence: “the available information supporting or otherwise a belief or proposition” • Evidence-based Policy: “public policy informed by rigorously established evidence”.

  25. Non-linear, dynamic policy processes • The impacts of research may occur neither at the time of the research, nor in ways that are predictable…or in the direction in which researchers intend. [Rather] it is mediated by the options available to policy makers at a particular time. [There is a] …need for researcher to be both radical and relate to its time and place….to make an impact but also to accord…with existing mores • (Lucinda Platt, 2003: 2).

  26. Linear model Percolation model, Weiss Tipping point model, Gladwell ‘Context, evidence, links’ framework, ODI Policy narratives, Roe Systems model (NSI) External forces, Lindquist ‘Room for manoeuvre’, Clay & Schaffer ‘Street level bureaucrats’, Lipsky Policy as social experiments, Rondinelli Policy Streams & Windows, Kingdon Disjointed incrementalism, Lindquist The ‘tipping point’, Gladwell Crisis model, Kuhn ‘Framework of possible thought’, Chomsky Variables for Credibility, Beach The source is as important as content, Gladwell Linear model of communication, Shannon Interactive model, Simple and surprising stories, Communication Theory Provide solutions, Marketing I Find the right packaging, Marketing II Elicit a response, Kottler Translation of technology, Volkow Epistemic communities Policy communities Advocacy coalitions etc, Pross Negotiation through networks, Sebattier Shadow networks, Klickert Chains of accountability, Fine Communication for social change, Rockefeller Wheels and webs, Chapman & Fisher X Existing theory

  27. ‘the interplay between institutions, interests and ideas.’ John P (1998) Analysing Public Policy. London: Cassell.

  28. Commission research Analyse the results Choose the best option Establish the policy Implement the policy Evaluation Identify the problem

  29. Cabinet Donors Policy Formulation Parliament Agenda Setting Decision Making Civil Society Ministries Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Implementation Private Sector Policy Processes

  30. …in reality… • “The whole life of policy is a chaos of purposes and accidents. It is not at all a matter of the rational implementation of the so-called decisions through selected strategies1” • “Most policy research on African agriculture is irrelevant to agricultural and overall economic policy in Africa2” • “Research is more often regarded as the opposite of action rather than a response to ignorance”3 1 Clay & Schaffer (1984), Room for Manoeuvre; An Exploration of Public Policy in Agricultural and Rural Development, Heineman Educational Books, London 2 Omamo (2003), Policy Research on African Agriculture: Trends, Gaps, and Challenges, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) Research Report No 21 3Surr (2003), DFID Research Review

  31. Experience & Expertise Pragmatics & Contingencies Judgement Lobbyists & Pressure Groups Evidence Resources Values and Policy Context Habits & Tradition Factors influencing policy making Source: Phil Davies Impact to Insight Meeting, ODI, 2005

  32. Policy Makers’ Evidence Researchers’ Evidence • ‘Scientific’ (Context free) • Proven empirically • Theoretically driven • As long as it takes • Caveats and qualifications • Colloquial (Contextual) • Anything that seems reasonable • Policy relevant • Timely • Clear Message Different Notions of Evidence Source: Phil Davies Impact to Insight Meeting, ODI, 2005

  33. Policy process • Agenda setting – why some issues considered by policy makers • Formulation – which policy alternatives and evidence is considered, why evidence ignored • Adoption – who is involved in deciding, formal or informal decision-making • Implementation – who will implement, how will implementers change policy to suit their aims, are implementers involved in decision-making • Evaluation – whether and why policies achieve their aims The way policy is initiated, developed, negotiated, communicated, implemented

  34. Policy context • Situational: change of leadership, focusing events, new evidence, etc. • Structural: resource allocation to intervention, organization of service delivery – public private mix, etc. • Cultural: prevailing attitudes to situation of women, technology, equity, tradition, etc. • International: place of intervention on international agenda, aid dependency, levels and modalities, migration of staff, ideas and paradigms, etc. Systemic factors which effect policy

  35. Political Context Analysis • Systematically gather political intelligence associated with any policy reform • Contextual opportunities & constraints • Formal & informal processes through which decisions made • Identify stakeholder groups • Assess political resources of groups • Understand interests, positions and commitments of groups • Systematically assess political palatability of specific policy alternatives

  36. Context Analysis and Policy Mapping Tools • Policy Process Mapping • RAPID Framework • Stakeholder Analysis • Force-Field Analysis • Outcome Mapping • More complex tools: • Drivers of Change • Power Analysis • World Governance Assessment

  37. More Complex Tools • Civil Society Index (CIVICUS) • Country Policy & Institutional Assessment (World Bank) • Democracy and Governance Assessment (USAID) • Drivers of Change (DFID) • Governance Questionnaire (GTZ) • Governance Matters (World Bank Institute) • Power Analysis (Sida) • World Governance Assessment

  38. Practical Tools Overarching Tools - The RAPID Framework - Using the Framework - The Entrepreneurship Questionnaire Context Assessment Tools - Stakeholder Analysis - Forcefield Analysis - Writeshops - Policy Mapping - Political Context Mapping Communication Tools - Communications Strategy - SWOT analysis - Message Design - Making use of the media Research Tools - Case Studies - Episode Studies - Surveys - Bibliometric Analysis - Focus Group Discussion Policy Influence Tools - Influence Mapping & Power Mapping - Lobbying and Advocacy - Campaigning: A Simple Guide - Competency self-assessment

  39. Problem Tree Analysis • The first step is to discuss and agree the problem or issue to be analysed. • Next the group identify the causes of the focal problem – these become the roots – and then identify the consequences – which become the branches • The heart of the exercise is the discussion, debate and dialogue that is generated as factors are arranged and re-arranged, often forming sub-dividing roots and branches

  40. SWOT Analysis • What type of policy influencing skills and capacities do we have? • In what areas have our staff used them more effectively? • Who are our strongest allies? • When have they worked with us? • Are there any windows of opportunity? • What can affect our ability to influence policy? • Skills and abilities • Funding lines • Commitment to positions • Contacts and Partners • Existing activities • Other orgs relevant to the issue • Resources: financial, technical, human • Political and policy space • Other groups or forces

  41. High Engage Closely and Influence Actively Keep Satisfied Power Monitor (minimum effort) Keep Informed Low Low High Interest Stakeholder Analysis Approach • Clarify policy change objective • Identify all stakeholders associated with this objective • Prioritise stakeholders according to interest/commitment and power/ assets • Develop strategy to engage with different stakeholders

  42. Stakeholder analysis • Stakeholder: individuals, groups, or organizations that have an interest in the project and can mobilize resources to affect its outcome in some way. Stakeholders are often specific to each policy reform and context, and should not just be assumed. • Stakeholder analysis: tool used to identify and understand the needs and expectations of major interests inside and outside the project environment in order to plan strategically. It is critical for assessing project risk and viability, and ultimately the support that must be effectively obtained and retained.

  43. Stakeholder interests

  44. Actors/Stakeholders • Identify key governmental, NGO, international, regional, national and sub-national stakeholder groups • Also identify independent groups/individuals with some influence or potential influence • Break down categories as far as feasible (one possibility is primary stakeholders, e.g. ministerial advisors, and secondary stakeholders, the minister her/himself; trade union federation vs factor workers directly).

  45. Tangible Votes Finance Infrastructure Members Research evidence Intangible Expertise Charisma Legitimacy Access to media & decision makers Tacit/implicit knowledge Assessing Stakeholder Power: Political Assets:

  46. Interests, Position & Commitment • Interests – what would a stakeholder gain or lose from the proposed reform? • Interests determine position: supportive, neutral, opposed • Commitment – importance attached by stakeholder to issue

  47. Type of engagement

  48. Stakeholder Position Map

  49. Strategies for Policy Engagement Develop political strategies to change: • Position: deals to bring about change, horse trading, promises, threats • Power: provide supporters with funds, personnel, access to media & officials • Players: change number of actors by mobilizing and demobilising, venue shifting • Perceptions: use data and arguments to question, to alter perspectives of problem/solution, use associations, invoke symbols, emphasise doability

  50. Bangladesh Integration Example: • Ministry of Finance • Planning Commission • Prime Minister • Minister of Health • Secretary of Min of Health • Deputy Secretary Ministry of Health • Health reformers in Ministry • Cadre of Family Planning Officials • Medical Association • Donors • Press • Academics • Select service delivery NGOs